• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

New scanner for Delco

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Tradbow

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Hi..

Reviving my scanning interest after some years. I'm looking for info for what kind of new scanner to purchase. I live in Haverford Township (Delaware County). Will likely want to monitor police and fire for areas in range from my location. I am also interested in monitoring the State Police. Can I get away with a basic scanner (i.e. not digital)? I don't plan on monitoring Philly (I believe they're digital?).

I might also want something portable to take in the car since I travel the Blue Route every day. Can I get away with not using an external antenna for a portable unit? Or perhaps something that attaches to the window?

Thanks
 

HM1529

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Tradbow said:
Hi..

Reviving my scanning interest after some years. I'm looking for info for what kind of new scanner to purchase. I live in Haverford Township (Delaware County). Will likely want to monitor police and fire for areas in range from my location. I am also interested in monitoring the State Police. Can I get away with a basic scanner (i.e. not digital)? I don't plan on monitoring Philly (I believe they're digital?).

I might also want something portable to take in the car since I travel the Blue Route every day. Can I get away with not using an external antenna for a portable unit? Or perhaps something that attaches to the window?

Thanks
At this time, any conventional scanner that covers up to 512MHZ will be able to monitor Delco. Most of the county comms are on UHF (450-512MHz) frequencies and comms are analog and non-trunked. Upper Darby police and fire are VHF Hi, as are the state police (for now). Fire dispatch is lowband for the time being. I was surprised to read in another thread here that Delco will eventually mov eto alpha only paging for fire...yuck.
 

ctrabs74

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Tradbow said:
I live in Haverford Township (Delaware County). Will likely want to monitor police and fire for areas in range from my location. I am also interested in monitoring the State Police. Can I get away with a basic scanner (i.e. not digital)? I don't plan on monitoring Philly (I believe they're digital?).

I might also want something portable to take in the car since I travel the Blue Route every day. Can I get away with not using an external antenna for a portable unit? Or perhaps something that attaches to the window?
If you get an analog trunk-tracker scanner, you can also pick up Montgomery County's analog TGs - police (except Whitemarsh, Pottstown, and the People's Republic of Upper Merion - which are digital and encrypted (Whitemarsh is mixed clear and enc); Plymouth is UHF conv., Montgomery Twp is VHF-Hi) and EMS are analog; fire is digital. There's also the Lower Merion EDACS system as well.

If you're lucky, you may be able to pick up some of the repeaters off the Chester County system (the 160.185 is legendary for having a booming signal - I've heard reports that it could be heard as far north as New York City).

If you get an analog portable scanner, you may be able to get away with not getting a special antenna; I did with both my Pro-95 and now with my 396.
 

Tradbow

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Thanks for the info gentleman. Ben, if you read this, what does is the implication of "moving toward alpha paging for fire" mean? Why Yuck? lol Will it no longer be able to be picked up on a scanner? And would this be for all Delco fire companies?

Thanks again
 

HM1529

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Tradbow said:
Thanks for the info gentleman. Ben, if you read this, what does is the implication of "moving toward alpha paging for fire" mean? Why Yuck? lol Will it no longer be able to be picked up on a scanner? And would this be for all Delco fire companies?

Thanks again
Folks have posted elsewhere online that Delco is planning to eventually move to alpha paging only for dispatch. This would likely mean no more voice dispatches (as you currently hear on 48.48 and some other lowband freqs in Delco).

Some counties use a combination of alpha paging and voice paging for fire dispatch. Honestly, while it may mean carrying two pagers instead of one, I find the voice + alpha better than the "one or the other" options.

In Montco we have both voice and alpha/data paging systems for fire and ems. Hazmat is dispatched by alpha only. I've encountered many places and situations where my alpha pager gets a garbled message that is mostly unreadable. If nothing comes through in English, how is a person to know what's happening? With complementary voice paging, responders may be able to hear what they were unable to read and, depending on the system, may be able to monitor voice traffic while responding to a call.

Alpha paging does allow more sensitive info to be passed to responders without having that info go over the two-way voice radio (handy for bomb threats and other high risk or high hazard type incidents). Alpha pagers also allow for a lot of deatiled info to be sent to responders without tying up the airwaves and blocking important voice radio traffic.

From a scanning standpoint, alpa only paging is just an inconvenience to the listener because you can't just monitor a dispatch channel to hear what is happening someplace. And, when people do go responding, they don't need as much info over the air as they otherwise would since detailed info was sent to the alpha pager.
 

scanjunkie

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I am just speaking from opinion, but I would find it hard to believe that they would do away with voice dispatch altogether. With alpha only other companies will not know when the other companies are going out...alpha paging is less than perfect and tends to be very unreliable...I could be wrong, but I would be very surprised if they go all alpha. Just my $.02.
 

PhillyPhoto

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ctrabs74 said:
If you get an analog trunk-tracker scanner, you can also pick up Montgomery County's analog TGs - police (except Whitemarsh, Pottstown, and the People's Republic of Upper Merion - which are digital and encrypted (Whitemarsh is mixed clear and enc); Plymouth is UHF conv., Montgomery Twp is VHF-Hi) and EMS are analog; fire is digital. There's also the Lower Merion EDACS system as well.
The Events on Montco's system are analog as well, so you can throw the dispatch channels into your scanner, and if a fire turns into anything, they usually switch over to the corresponding event (ie if they usually operate on region 5 (Willow Grove area), they switch to event 5).

Also, to answer your question about monitoring PSP... they will be going to MA/COM OpenSKY which is not monitorable by any scanner currently on the market. Some are still utilizing the VHF system, and can be monitored.

Happy Scanning!
 
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